There's a force-of-nature at Frankford High School in Philadelphia. Her name is Wilma Stephenson and she runs an infamous Culinary Arts "boot camp" for students. A teacher for 40 years, Wilma can be blunt and cantankerous - but beneath her tough exterior is a person who cares passionately about getting the best out of her kids.
Pressure Cooker documents an entire school year with Wilma and her students. At a school where over 40% of the students don't even make it to their senior year, Wilma shows her kids how to achieve her version of the American dream: Choose a realistic goal. Work hard. Work the system. And get out of Northeast Philly.
At the end of the year, culinary students from all over Philly compete in a one-day cook-off, where top chefs judge the students' skills and talent. Scholarships are on the line; success will depend upon how dedicated they've been over the last year - enduring stressful home lives while still finding the motivation to wake up at 6AM to get to class early enough to master crepes and tournee potatoes.
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